Some progress but more local issues reported in west York

The hedge which was obstructing the snicket linking Gale Lane and Bachelor Hill has been trimmed back.
Unfortunately the potentially hazardous thorn hedge branches on the Tithe Close snicket (they are at eye height) still need to be cut back from the footpath in two locations
Ideal growing conditions mean that hedges and bushes can quickly obstruct footpaths. This one is near the Dickson Park. We hope that all residents will check their boundaries
We’ve reported littering of the children’s playground at the Cornlands Park. Mostly beer cans! Unfortunately the spring closing mechanism on the fence gate is not working. This means that dogs can access the area. This may lead to fouling problems. We ask users to make sure that the gate is kept closed./
Continuing problems with litter on some snickets in the Thoresby Road area. There is a growing need for some enforcement action.
Some Councillors are now pressing for the Councils weed treatment schedules to be made public. Scenes like the above on The Reeves are not uncommon these days.

Warm weather brings some good news

Lots of people out and about today tidying up their gardens. Hopefully some of the overgrown trees, hedges and weeds obstructing footpaths will be getting attention.

Council workers were clearing two of the flower beds in Corlett Court today. The third central bed has been taken over and is now being maintain by local residents.
The slide on the Teal Drive/Heron Way playground – which was damaged by vandals earlier in the year- has now been removed by the landlords (JRHT). The playground is being reopened for the summer holidays.
Little sign in Vincent Way that the Council’s weed killing programme is having any effect!
We’ve reported several trees in the area which are obstructing public footpaths. If you have a tree in your garden please inspect it regularly to ensure that it is not overhanging neighbouring paths.
Quite a lot of litter around. This has been reported.

Litter still blighting suburb

Despite several requests for a root cause analysis of, and action to address, littering hot-spots problems continue to grow. There are particular issues on routes used by some students on their way to and from school (although this may be a coincidence).

Hot-spots include snickets and bus stops.

We believe that the Council should increase its surveillance of such locations and issue penalty charge notices to offenders.

Litter at Cornlands Road bus top near school entrance. We need a new litter bin here.

The Thoresby Road snicket, near the shops, has a particular problem with litter
The snickets linking The Reeves to Thoresby Road need cleaning and resurfacing
The Tithe Close snicket is subject to littering. The main problem at present though is a thorn bush which is obstructing the footpath. It is potential hazard after dark

Some progress on local problems in the Westfield area

We reported that 2 BIFFA bins had been left in the little Green Lane garage area. These have now been removed. Nearby garages have been secured by the Council. A boundary hedge has also been trimmed. Cllr Simon Daubeney is raising the issue of anti-social behaviour in the area with the police.
York’s worst highway surface? We’ve again reported School Street as being in need of resurfacing. UFO contractors are currently in the street reinstating the concrete footpaths
We’ve reported problems with litter and weeds on back Front Street
Residents are being advised to check that local watercourses and drainage ditches are kept free of obstructions. Many become overgrown at this time of year. It may become a potential flooding issued if we get a period of heavy rain.

Hidden in open view?

We’ll get an idea of the calibre of the newly elected York Councillors this week when they begin to consider how to scrutinise the management performance of the local authority.

A series of updates are being presented.

A typical report is being tabled on housing and community safety issues on 24th June.   

Litter blights some neighbourhoods

What is immediately clear is that no performance indicators have been tabulated (or referenced out). Councillors aren’t being told how long it takes to do things, what any backlogs are, what quality checks are in place or what the levels of public satisfaction are.

Some of the information is available on York Open Data but you have to search for it. Many of the figures are not up to date.

Some major issues are not mentioned at all.  

Empty garages reduce local authority rent income

The housing section fails to even mention empty Council garages, tenants don’t feel they can influence decisions (most tenants organisations have folded) and there are delays on the Housing Estate Improvement programmes.

Similarly on community safety (mainly policing matters) anti-social behaviour in sub-urban areas hardly gets a mention. Trends in drug and alcohol abuse are not quantified. Vandalism, criminal damage, graffiti, all of which disfigure residential areas, are ignored. The trend in the number of prosecutions for this type of offence and similar environmental crimes (litter, dog fouling) is not revealed.

Graffiti scars some streets.

The challenge for new Councillors will be not so much to question the information that has been provided by officials, but more to probe the areas where reports are silent.

Tackle root causes!

Residents rightly become irritated when they report public service problems and either they take a long time to clear up or the issue occurs again very soon afterwards.

This is particularly frustrating when potholes reopen and gullies become blocked immediately there is a shower of rain

We think that the York Council needs to get to the root causes of some issues.

They currently spend a lot of money clearing up fly tipping but have been very tardy in advertising the bulky waste collection service the cost of which was reduced substantially in April.

Recurrent litter problems occur on some snickets. It should be possible to identify, and fine, offenders. In some cases the littering is happening everyday.

Full litter bins like this one in Cornlands Road add to problems

Snickets off Tennent Road are regularly littered

The Tithe Close snicket is littered on most days
Its not just urban roads that suffer from littering. This Is Bland Lane near Knapton
Local Councillors should arrange for gated alleys – like this in Jute Road – to be cleaned from time to time
Bedding has been dumped on the playground on Cornlands Road

Some good news, some not so..

Work has started on the long awaited parking lay-by on Bramham Avenue
Unfortunately Bramham Avenue is one of those streets where footpaths are now badly worn
The litter on the Dijon Avenue garage block has been removed

However some dumping remains
The Acomb car park area was cleared of litter and fly tipping following our complaints at the weekend. Unfortunately more fly tipping has now appeared.
We’ve asked for weeds on Gale Lane to be treated
and for gutters to be hand swept
Biggest disappointment is the failure by the Council to respond to reports of littering on snickets. The problem on Tithe Close has been outstanding for a couple of weeks now

Other Thoresby Road snickets also have a lot of litter.

Great Foxwood Spring Clean makes progress

…but more people need to heed the “Keep Britain Tidy” message

4 volunteers from the Foxwood Residents Association collected 8 bags of rubbish from the Thanet Road Sports Area today. While some could be put down to “litter drift” many of the items had clearly simply been carelessly discarded. These included dozens of cans and bottles.

These sorts of clean ups shouldn’t be necessary. There are several litter bins in the area. Its time for the Council to be more proactive in enforcing anti littering laws. Residents were promised that mobile CCTV cameras would be deployed to litter hot-spots but this hasn’t happened.

Only 5 individuals across the whole city were issued with fixed penalty notices for littering last year

Volunteers have clean up the area near the Thanet Road cycle track

There is also too much fly-tipping of garden waste on amenity areas. The Council needs to get to grips with this while fitting more vandal resistant street furniture.

Dumped garden waste
Need metal railings in vulnerable areas